Like many prominent figures in European or American politics, three of Romania's most important political decision-makers went to Kyiv on Tuesday to reiterate their firm support for Ukraine, now invaded by Russian troops. The Liberal Prime Minister and party leader Nicolae Ciuca, the President of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Social Democratic Party (Liberals' governing partner) Marcel Ciolacu and the politically unaffiliated Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told Kyiv officials that Bucharest stands by them and the Ukrainian people.
More than 600 kilometers of border separate Romania from the neighboring state. At the meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, Prime Minister Ciuca presented multidimensional support measures for Ukraine, including measures to manage the more than 820,000 refugees who have crossed the border into Romania. This has entailed the setting up of refugee camps, as well as regulating their free access to medical, educational and transport services, as well as to the Romanian labor market.
Subjected to a maritime blockade by the Russian military fleet, Ukraine is struggling to carry out its traditional exports of grain and animal products, and the Prime Minister mentioned, as a concrete support measure, Romania's temporary liberalization of road freight transport for Ukrainian operators, as well as facilitating the access of Ukrainian goods to Romanian river and seaports.
Romania, the Bucharest officials said, is available and interested in participating substantially in Ukraine's post-conflict reconstruction process. The Romanian officials also visited the towns of Borodyanka and Irpin (north), near the capital Kyiv, where the Russian troops left behind mass graves and corpses lying in the street. Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca once again condemned the atrocities committed by the invading troops and expressed Romania's support for conducting an international investigation to bring the guilty to justice.
"Your visit is an important and clear signal of support for Ukraine in the war against the Russian Federation", said President Zelenskyy. He said that "an important component of the common European future will be the absolute protection and development of our national minorities - the Ukrainian community in Romania and the Romanian community in Ukraine."
The Speaker of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu, also stressed the fact that the solidarity of the Romanian people with their Ukrainian neighbors must be strengthened at the level of minorities as well. The Romanian community in the neighboring state has more than 400,000 people, most of them concentrated in northern Bukovina, northern and southern Bessarabia and Herta Land, Romanian territories annexed by the former Stalinist Soviet Union in 1940 and taken over by Ukraine as a successor state in 1991, when the USSR collapsed. (MI)